Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Draw on paper; capture digitally

As much as I love the idea of doing paperless animation with Wacom's Cintiq, there are a few problems. One, at $2000, I don't have it in my budget to purchase one right now. And two, I've not spent enough time on it to master the skill of drawing directly on a screen. There's just something about drawing on paper and flipping those drawings by hand that feels right. Three, it's not quite as portable an an animation disk.

Well, Wacom has just introduced a new technology that, with some modifications, could bridge that gap. The new Inkling is smaller than a cell phone, costs only $200, and allows you to make ink sketches on paper while capturing them digitally. Could the stylus be altered to use non-ink, such as graphite or Col-Erase? Could the receiver be modified to fit on a peg bar instead of clipping directly to the paper?

In any case, it's a fascinating advance of drawing technology. See for youself:

Simmon Keith Barney is an animator living in Fort Collins, Colorado.

1 comment:

  1. There are some interesting comments on Cartoon Brew about the Inkling. Among them are suggestions for possible uses for animators, downfalls, some products that might do a better job, and my own thoughts (reposted below).


    The Cintiq is still a bit pricey, and I like to feel of drawing on paper. So, initially, I envisioned the Inkling as an alternate means to do rough animation, without having to use a line tester. (I imagine clean-up drawings would still have to be scanned). But there are a few things that would have to be overcome before that could work. And, even then, would it be practical?

    A) How do you keep it from interfering with flipping? The video above shows it clipped to the top of the page, which obviously won’t work for bottom-peg animators. But even if were built to fit over the pegs, it would be a royal pain to remove every time you wanted to add a sheet.

    B) I can’t see myself roughing in ink. If it were a sheath that fit over a graphite or Col-Erase pencil, that could help. But then you’d have to solve another problem:

    C) What if you want to erase?

    D) It can’t handle 12FLD or 16FLD paper

    E) It appears to automatically center and scale drawings. Can that be disabled, or would you have to put registration marks on every drawing?

    F) What about when you need to make adjustments to multiple drawings? Would you need a keypad to tell it what drawing you’re working on? The single button it currently has just won't cut it.

    It sounds like it would be a pain (for developer *and* user) to make animation possible with the Inkling. Definitely less excited about it today than I was yesterday.